02 Feb 2018 – 1:22
DOHA: Qatar Science & Technology Park’s (QSTP’s) flagship accelerator program, XLR8, which aims to help aspiring tech entrepreneurs transform ideas into products with the potential to make a commercial impact, has entered a new cycle.
The sixth edition of the intensive three-month training and mentorship program — a key element of QSTP’s mission to create a dynamic and innovative tech innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Qatar — will see a record 24 teams participating. Under the supervision of leading mentors from Qatar and abroad, they will develop their ideas to the prototype stage.
The previous XLR8 cycle, one of its most successful to date, saw eight teams shortlisted for QSTP’s Incubator program, where participants are provided with the support to launch their startups and enter the commercial market.
In total, 62 teams have so far completed the XLR8 program, and, as a result, gained access to a local and global network of entrepreneurs, startup founders, and industry experts.
Dr. Maher Hakim, Executive Director, QSTP, said: “The XLR8 program is continuing to capture the attention and imagination of people with great ideas and the desire to take them to the next level. The fact that Cycle 6 features the highest number of teams since its inception shows how a culture of innovation and tech entrepreneurship is on the rise in Qatar.”
“We are proud of our XLR8 alumni, some of whom have now made a seamless progression to incubating their technologies within QSTP, and we look forward to welcoming new additions to their growing ranks through the program’s sixth cycle,” he said.
“The exposure to a local and global network of tech startup expertise that XLR8 provides will enable these aspiring entrepreneurs to move ideas that have the potential to address local needs and demands closer to commercial reality,” he added.
Two former XLR8 participants have gone on to advance their startups and make their mark on international markets such as China and the US WakeCap, which develops wearable technologies to improve the safety of construction workers and increase their productivity, is currently taking part in HAX 2017, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator in China.
Meanwhile, XLR8 Cycle 2 team, Stellic, an integrated planning and advising platform that empowers today’s students to seamlessly plan their semesters with the best-fit courses, launched a startup in QSTP and has secured sales in the US.